Footballer of the Week: Dickie Borthwick

The newest feature at FootballRealm sees us take a detailed look at a football player each day. This week’s player of the day is Dickie Borthwick. Mr Dickie Borthwick, from Dorset, who has just celebrated his 75th birthday, is still lacing up his boots and hitting the pitch for a spot of football. He is the oldest professional football player in Britain, still playing regularly.

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Dickie Borthwick was born in the same year as 1966 World Cup winning England footballers Jack Charlton and Ray Wilson. But unlike them he has no plans of retirement yet.

Dubbed ‘This oldest winger in town’, Mr Borthwick has been playing football for the past 63 years, first taking up the game in 1947, two years after the end of the Second World War. The Scottish left-midfielder plays for Weymouth FC.

Borthwick recalls: “I got my first job due to the fact I could play football. The man who interviewed me asked if by any chance did I play football? Yes I said! And back he came really quickly and said you’ve got the job. I have never been sent off. I am a firm but fair player. I just love to get out there for 90 minutes as often as I can. I have lost a bit of speed, but my thoughts are quick and that really counts. I intend to keep on playing as my legs and knees are still good and sturdy. I have only had one serious injury and that was a collar bone. So I am still good for a few more years yet.”

As well as playing football, Mr Borthwick has always been a staunch Weymouth FC supporter, helping out the club as a kit man when required.

He joined his previous team Wyke Rangers 30 years ago and they became a veterans team 10 years later. Two of his three sons, Gavin, 32, and Glenn, 40, also turn out for the side. Dickie said he puts his fitness down to quitting his 30-a-day smoking habit and drinking tea and eating a bowl of porridge before every game. Dickie said: "I have a strict routine with my vitamins every day and I gave up smoking 37 years ago which helped. I also have porridge before every game for energy. I have got a good strong body which I got from my mother who was a big country girl."

Dickie Dickie Borthwick (pictured at bottom-left) with his team in 1962.

Dickie Borthwick is believed to have scored 400-450 goals in his career, an average of about 7 goals a season. He has also played for a total of 11 non-league clubs.

Weymouth FC Club Manager Ian Hutchinson said: ‘Dickie is certainly a one off. If he could, he would put his own name down first on any of my team sheets. “He helps out at our club all the time and the fact that he still plays is just amazing to me and my players. He often joins in with us at training. If I could, I would love to play him, but unfortunately its very much out of the question.He may not be a World Cup winner, but as a grass roots footballer Mr Borthwick is a bit of a mid-field maestro and won some County league titles and trophies.”

His all time football hero was actually born two years after Dickie himself in 1937, Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton.


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